Natural Solutions to 3 Gas Problems
If you occasionally suffer from mild heartburn, bloating, or constipation, you're not alone. Approximately 70 million Americans are plagued by digestive disorders. And it's easy to see why. Your digestive system is a highly sophisticated process that converts foods into smaller molecules of nutrients before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to cells throughout your body. The complex series of hollow organs joined together in a long, twisting tube that extends from your mouth to your anus has a process that separates the waste and nutritional value found in the digested food. Digestion begins in the mouth when you chew and swallow and it ends in the small intestine.
Disruptions in this complex system can occur almost anywhere along the way and cause a myriad of problems, from the minor annoyance of mild heartburn to potentially life-threatening illnesses such as a perforated ulcer. To maintain good digestive health, it's important to not only eat a well-balanced diet that's high in fiber, including lots of fruits and vegetables, and to drink plenty of water each day, to avoid constipation, but to also refrain from doing things that can worsen digestive problems.
The Mayo Clinic suggests these tips to avoid three of the most common digestive issues:
Belching is caused by swallowing too much air when you drink or eat too fast, have poorly fitting dentures, drink carbonated beverages, or chew gum. You can reduce belching by:
- Eating and drinking slowly
- Avoiding carbonated drinks and beer
- Refrain from gum chewing and sucking on hard candy
- Quitting smoking
- Getting ill-fitting dentures fixed
Bloating and Intestinal Gas
When gas doesn't pass through by belching or flatulence, it can build up in the stomach and intestines, causing bloating and leading to stomach pain, which may be relieved by passing gas or having a bowel movement. This problem may be caused by:
- Eating fatty foods
- Having a gastrointestinal infection
- Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or celiac disease
To limit bloating, try avoiding:
- Baked beans
- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage
- Carbonated drinks
- Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy
The signature symptom of heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest, just behind your breastbone. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. Making some small changes in your lifestyle can help you avoid heartburn:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing
- Eat smaller meals
- Avoid lying down after a meal
- Quit smoking
If any of these problems are persistent or interfere with your routine, see your doctor.
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